Prairie Paradise

© Stephen Weaver – Prairie Sunset

The red of the grass made all the great prairie
the color of wine-stains, or of certain seaweeds
when they are first washed up.
And there was so much motion in it;
the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running.

I felt motion in the landscape; in the fresh,
easy-blowing morning wind, and in the earth itself,
as if the shaggy grass were a sort of loose hide,
and underneath it herds of wild buffalo were galloping,

I wanted to walk straight on through the red grass
and over the edge of the world, not very far away.
The light air about me told me that the world
ended here: only the ground and sun and sky

were left, and if one went a little farther there
would be only sun and sky, and one would float
off into them, like the tawny hawks which sailed
over our heads making slow shadows on the grass.

Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become
part of something entire, whether it is sun
and air, or goodness and knowledge.

At any rate, that is happiness;
to be dissolved into something complete
and great. When it comes to one,
it comes as naturally as sleep.

© Willa Sibert Cather. My Ántonia
Book I – The Shimerdas – Chapter 2

Posted for dVersePoets Pub where Anna Montgomery
challenges us to produce erasure poetry.  This derived from the brilliant Willa Cather, where every page is a poem!




She knows dumpster food
and dying from two stories up.
Every day she sees death
in the faces of people and in the trees.

She’s haunted by love, death
and slow disease,
Every lost case, kitten and child
makes her fear she’s dying–
sleepy with drugs,
like granny wasting away,
or quick,
blood running down her neck.

She’d like to use drugs
to remember or forget.
She’d like to use
sex as a drug to keep
fear at a distance.
But, there’s disease in blood heat;
safer to ache.
Only so much pain she will
bear on the street.

When she sleeps
her brother falls again
to his death
wrapped and waiting for the morgue
in white sheets.
She cries, pleads
how much goodness
how much magic
required to manage?
Can she survive
another day?

© Gay Reiser Cannon – All Rights Reserved